Bucklin (Old Hill) with TN

No this is not a misspelling of the board fav (of which I’ve only had the SB) [snort.gif]

I’m wondering what people know about these wines? Old Hill is, of course, historic and there is a legendary Ravenswood Zin from there.

A week or two ago I got an email from them, at which point I did recall that I bought a few bottles from them several years ago that I quite liked, esp Old Vine Grenache and Upper 5th. But this doesn’t appear to be a list where they keep sending email offers so I unfortunately forgot to buy more.
The Grenache is now a blend of old and new vines. There appears to be a new white from a exotic blend of grapes that I hope will be nice. What’s the cab like in style? Does it need extended aging?

Anyway I got a mixed case of: White, Upper 5th, Grenache, Bambino, and Ancient Field Blend. Hopefully they are a good as I remember and hopefully I won’t loose track of them again pileon

One of the truly iconic wines of California. What a vineyard. I worked hard to bring these wines into the NYC market a decade ago and they still fly under the radar. Baffling. I should restock the cellar with some more though I know I have two cases lost in the basement a good reminder to go find them!

I’ve only had two vintages of the Cabernet. Big but not too ripe, balanced and fairly agewoethy.

Will lost a couple structures (guest house and barn) and a small amount of vines in the fire. His family at Oak Hill Farm lost more - homes and part of the farm. It’s a good time to support these businesses. The field blend competes with Ravenswood at a fraction of the price. The grenache is excellent as well. These wines are a phenomenal value. They should sell out every vintage, but I think Will’s more of a farmer than a marketing man.

He’s a good friend so I’m biased, but the wines are delicious.

Great wine.

Wines should come this week. I’ll try to post notes.

With endorsements from experts such as Gregory and Morgan this should be a no brainer for people here. Surprised that no one ever talks about these wines. Also sounds like this might be worth a visit for next time I’m up there

I signed up twice, and never heard back.

I have been a fan of the Ancient Field Blend. Very nice stuff.
I know it is heresy to say this, but I really like their labels. Very simple straightforward design. The quality of the label design seeps through the glass and improves the taste of the wine. I swear to it.
Phil Jones

The first wine from my purchase:
‘15 Bambino, This is a Zin from young vines that are old enough for some producers to not be called young! Specially planted in 1998. Price is $24 without case discount.
Wine is still primary, but not over the top. Color is dark but not opaque. Showing mostly spicy aromas with some red fruits and some stony/mine rally impressions as well. Very smooth and easy with the spice elements repeating on the palate. Nice length.

This is really a stunning value and should be a must try for those who are looking for a Zin that falls in the middle ground. Stated alc is 14.2%.

Thanks for the notes!

I had the “Ancient Vines” and the “Bambino” a million years ago (2003 vintage?). I enjoyed them, but I probably drank them too young.

Old Hill is a great vineyard. I used to live across a dirt road from it, on a flower farm near the entrance to B.R. Cohn.

Used to ride a golf cart through the vineyard to go get brunch.

‘16 Mixed White. Newly planted (2010) one acre parcel to an old fashioned mix of whites sourced from around Sonoma Valley.
$24. Alc 13.2%. Very pale. Lightly floral aromatics. Richer mouth feel of pears, apples, and some citrus. Quite a long palate impression. This could be a winner with turkey.
Would have liked more effusive aromatics, but the wine is probably just too young. Similar in style to the Bedrock Compagni-Portis, which in my mind is quite different from the Carlisle version.

2015 Upper 5th, 14.8%, $28. From a small remnant of a larger vineyard that became past of the new hwy 12. Old vine mixed black varieties planted among various fruit trees. I’d love to see what this plot looks like.
A more serious, complex, and complete effort than the Bambino. Darker color but not in the dense opaque style. Showing somewhat primary but settles with air. Lots of spice both aromatically and on palate, some mouth watering tannins, core of dark fruit that still manages to not dominate. Nice length. This is a great bargain.
Would be interesting to see how these wines age, but I might not have the patience.

Duplicate post

My 2015 Bucklin Ancient Field Blend arrived today. Sorely tempted to open one as I have been a big proponent of the Ravenswood version of this vineyard going back 25 years. Additional props to Will Bucklin on an issue I encountered in the ordering process.


Tom, that’s what I’m leaning towards opening tonight, other possibilities were an ‘11 Carlisle or a ‘15 Gigondas.

OK. I opened a bottle. Will post a note soon.


Another nice release from Bucklin this past week that includes their great old vine Grenache.

I will check the website, but you could have just shared the details, y’know. :stuck_out_tongue:

I went ahead and copied-and-pasted the wines currently available as of today, April 29:
Bucklin Winery website


"Feel free to mix and match, but please order in multiples of three (3, 6, 9, etc.). For a 10% discount on case orders, use discount code case.

2017 Rosé of Old Hill Ranch $24

"This year our Rosé is 21% Grenache, 58% Zinfandel, 13% Mourvedre, 4% Syrah and 4% Carignane. The grapes are harvested early, whole cluster pressed, and finished dry. Then the juice is fermented cold using indigenous yeast with no ML. The wine is very pale in color, beautifully aromatic and crisp on the finish, what a fine accompaniment to the optimism of spring!

Alc. 12.8%. 262 cases produced.

2016 Old Hill Ranch Mixed Whites $24

"Our Mixed White block was established on Old Hill Ranch in 2011 as an ode to the unheralded white grapes found in many of Sonoma’s historic field blends. Muscat, French Colombard, Chasselas, Clairette Blanc cuttings came from Old Hill Ranch, Semillon from Monte Rosso, Gewürztraminer, Trousseau Gris and Riesling from Compagni-Portis, Muscadelle from Casa Santinamaria, Malvasia and Grenache Blanc from Rossi Ranch and Chenin Blanc from Carlisle. Grapes are whole-cluster pressed, fermented cool in Stainless and then aged in neutral barrels sur lees for 6 months. The wine is quite delicate with a hint of spiciness and a bright natural acidity.

Alc. 13.2%. 60 cases produced.

2016 Old Hill Ranch Grenache $38

"This Grenache is selectively and exclusively harvested from the ancient vines, and is thus some of the oldest vine Grenache in the state. The blend consists of approximately 78% Grenache, 9% Syrah, 9% Carignan and 4% Alicante Bouchet.

Alc. 15.3%. 47 cases produced.

2016 Old Hill Ranch Mixed Blacks $38

The term ‘Mixed Blacks’ was coined by old-timey grape growers in reference to the non-Zinfandel grapes in a field blend, and that is exactly what this wine is: everything but the Zin! Roughly half of this blend is composed of Grenache and Alicante Bouchet, while the other half contains the remaining 30 or so varieties that exist in the field blend.

Alc. 15.8%. 46 cases produced.

2016 Old Hill Ranch Petite Sirah $28

"For some reason that remains a mystery, this little block of Petite Sirah vines that we planted in 1999 produces little tiny grapes of unusual concentration. The wine is blended with 25% Zin to soften the edges, but it remains dark and intense, with black pepper and Old Hill spice.

Alc. 14.2%. 52 cases produced.

2015 Old Hill Ranch Ancient Field Blend $34

"The ‘Ancient Field Blend’ is from a 12 acre block of vines that were planted in 1885. The vineyard is a mosaic of over two dozen grape varieties — principally Zinfandel, but also Grenache, Alicante Bouchet, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre, Syrah, Carignane, and Tempranillo, to name a few. The grapes are co-fermented together. 12 Acres, 30 grape varieties, 1 wine.

15.3% alc., 431 cases produced.

2015 Upper 5th Vineyard Ancient Field Blend $28

"Our mother purchased the ‘Upper 5th’ vineyard in 2011. The vineyard is so named because it is the upper 1/5th remnant of a vineyard that was removed when Hwy 12 was rerouted in the 1940’s. The field blend consists (mostly) of five grape varieties: Zin, Petite Sirah, Pelrousin, Carignane and French Colombard. In addition to the vines, there are fruit and nut trees inter-planted throughout, including almonds, walnuts, apples, persimmons, olives, and figs. Italians call this co-mingling ‘agricoltura promiscua’, which espouses the philosophy of biodiversity in farming, essentially the opposite of monoculture.

Alc. 14.8%. 73 cases produced.

2015 Old Hill Ranch Bambino Field Blend $24

"This year our Bambino was made with 81% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah, 4% Alicante Bouchet, 6% Syrah, Grenache and Carignane.
Grapes were harvested early. Fermentations were relatively cool and long with indigenous yeast without any nutrient or water additions. Pressing occurred after 15 days on the skins. The wine was bottled after 20 months aging in neutral French oak barrels.

Alc. 14.2%. 708 cases produced.

2014 Old Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon $34

"The 2014 Cab has aromas of eucalyptus, currants and plums in a background of lavender spice. Aged in 40% new French oak for 20 months, it is soft textured and delicious now but will age well.

Alc. 13.8%. 563 cases produced.

“To avoid temperature extremes, wine shipments are made in the Fall (October & November) and Spring (March & April). Otherwise, orders are held until safe shipping is assured.”[/i]